Safari snoods: the simple & stylish safari accessory
A snood is a lightweight, breathable addition to your safari outfit. Giving that added bit of warmth on early morning drives or at camp in the evenings, it is the accessory you can comfortably wear all day - and adds a classic look for game drives and dinners alike.
You absolutely do need a men's safari jacket or men's safari fleece on any safari - whether you opt for a long-sleeved safari fleece or jacket or a safari fleece vest - as it does get cold on safari.
The reasons for the cold include: African winters, wind chill on safaris in open 4x4s (dipping into valleys and drainage lines also adds an extra bite of cold), early morning starts and late evening finishes for safari activities, land-locked countries, and many safari areas being high above sea level. The Maasai Mara & Serengeti (and most of East Africa) are the height of some ski resorts at 1,400 meters above sea level. Botswana, parts of Zambia, and Namibia are also more or less 1,000 meters above sea level.
Think of the safari experience as a desert trip where it starts off cold in the mornings and becomes cold again in the evenings, but heating up by midday to warm or hot. Keep in mind that the hotter the temperatures are at midday, the earlier you will go on safari, which means the cooler it will be. Again, you should definitely pack a men's safari fleece or men's safari jacket for your safari. We have given this advice to clients who have ignored it and returned from an October safari in Botswana to tell us that, yes, they did indeed get cold despite the midday heat.
For the African winter, opt for a long-sleeved safari jacket or safari fleece and, for the summer, either a safari vest jacket or fleece, but then wear a long-sleeved safari shirt underneath so that the sleeves help to keep you warm.
Colour is still key when choosing the correct safari fleece or safari jacket. Opt for neutral shades such as khaki, green, or brown.
For safari travel over the rainy season, pack a high quality, waterproof safari jacket which is proven to actually work. For East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda), the rains generally occur in two parts: the longer monsoon in April and May and then the shorter rains around November. Higher safari areas such as the Ngorongoro Crater catch the wind from the sea and it may rain at any time of the year. Southern Tanzania differs from this and is similar to the rainy season in Zambia, Botswana, and northern Mozambique - and falls between late November and late March, often extending into April. As a general rule, if one had to ask "when is Africa always dry?" - the answer would be May to October, with regional rains still possible in some parts. Please also note that the South African rainy season is split down the middle of the country, with the east receiving rain through summer and the west a winter rainfall area. That winter rainfall can push through in cold fronts to the east of the country too.
Having lived in Africa through the rains we are also able to advise that the daytime temperature goes from very hot before the rains start, to much cooler once the rains have settled in. The difference may be as much as 10 to 15 degrees celsius below the average temperatures and so again we advise that a fleece or jacket is packed to keep you warm.
Number of men's safari jackets or safari fleeces to pack for your safari:
1 x safari fleece or jacket; 1 x waterproof safari jacket should you be travelling over the rainy season.
Pack men's safari shirts which are made from neutral, natural tones such as shades of khaki, green, and brown.
We suggest you pack more men's safari shirts which are long-sleeved safari shirts with roll-up sleeve tabs over short-sleeved shirts - simply as you are able to roll your sleeves up and down when you need to stay cool, keep warm, or to avoid sunburn on your arms.
Pack men's safari shirts which offer a combination of effective wicking, sun protection (SPF50+ is best), and proven insect defence.
As a general rule, men's safari shirts made from man-made fibres (e.g. polyamide) are superior to natural fibres such as cotton as they wick moisture away from the skin much faster than cotton shirts. Faster wicking means faster cooling. This is particularly important for any long-sleeved or collared shirt.
Pack men's safari shirts which have a collar to protect your neck from the sun.
Number of men's safari shirts to pack:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 4; Up to 12-day safari: x 6
If you are going on a classic game drive type of safari, then pack comfortable men's safari shoes to wear on game drive but which are able to double as good walking shoes for a walk in the bush - an activity we highly recommend. Note that if you do not have walking shoes with you on game drive then your guide may decide against a quick impromptu walk in the bush
Also take a pair of men's safari shoes to wear around the camp. These may be the same pair as your select for the above, but it may also be a pair of cooler sandals or open shoes.
For full-on walking safaris make sure you take men's safari shoes which are made for longer hikes - and ensure that you walk them in properly before you go on safari. You may prefer low rise canvas trail shoes or leather higher rise boots - the preference is purely personal.
If you are going on a walking safari in sandy areas (check with the walking safari company you have booked with) then we suggest that you pack higher rise boots with a built in tongue - such as our Rufiji™ APU Safari Combat Boots - as this will minimise the amount of sand which goes into the shoe which will cause discomfort.
We would still take a a pair of cooler men's shoes or sandals for before and after walks when around the camp.
Safari tip: always check your shoes for small snakes, scorpions, spiders and insects before putting them on.
Number of men's safari shoes to pack for your safari:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2 (1+1); Up to 8-day safari: x 2 (1+1); Up to 12-day safari: x 2 (1+1)
*"(1+1)" explained: Walking shoes + shoes to wear around camp.
To prevent having your face and neck burnt by the sun during your safari activities, you will need a wide-brimmed men's safari hat.
With mean high temperatures reaching mid-20 to mid-30 degrees Celsius on most safaris and with safari areas in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia high above sea level, the effects of the sun will be pronounced and the risk of being burnt by the sun will be high. As a wide-brimmed men's safari hat sits on your head, it is literally your first line of defence against a hot midday African sun.
Another benefit of wide-brimmed men's safari hats which most people don't think about is the shelter they provide when it rains. We find that a wide-brimmed safari hat definitely makes it slightly less uncomfortable when you are caught out on a walk or game drive by a sudden thunderstorm or tropical shower, as at least your face - or most of it - remains dry.
Colour is key when choosing a men's safari hat - with neutral shades such as khaki, green, or brown the best. Your safari hat will often be the most conspicuous part of you as you hide behind a bush while viewing wildlife on a walk.
Modern wide-brimmed men's safari hats are conveniently packable too and so do not lose their shape when you take them out of your luggage. If they have lost a bit of shape, you are usually easily able to manipulate them back into shape. However, never crush your safari hat under a hard object - such as shoes or binoculars - when packing.
Number of wide-brimmed men's safari hats to pack for your safari:
1 x wide-brimmed safari hat per person.
*Pack a safari beanie for the African winter too.
Pack men's safari trousers which are made in safari-suitable colours. These are ideally shades of khaki, brown, and green.
The men's safari trousers go-to product will always be zip-off or convertible men's safari trousers and pants. These are designed for maximum versatility no matter the conditions on safari: trousers when cool, shorts when hot - and they save on valuable packing space by being two garments in one. The leg sections also give added protection from the sun and defence from most biting insects - especially when treated with built-in SPF and anti-insect treatment. For walking safaris, having separate waterproof leg sections for your men's safari pants which provide insect defence work the best.
Should you prefer to also pack separate men's safari trousers and men's safari shorts, then make sure you work out the duration of your activity and wear either trousers or the shorts depending on the weather during that activity. There is no use starting off warm with men's safari trousers when its cold in the morning only to be boiling hot later on in the day. Another option if you prefer separate safari trousers and safari shorts would be to take shorts or trousers with you on the safari activity in a satchel or daypack and change while on the activity.
The ideal men's safari trousers and shorts are lightweight, strong, provide a high level of sun protection (SPF50+ is recommended), and have an anti-insect finish. Wicking is less important from a sweat and cooling point of view, as your legs don't sweat as much as your upper body, but wicking would be important in ensuring that, should your safari trousers get wet from the rain or a water-based activity - or even just the morning dew while walking - that they dry very quickly.
Men's safari trousers which are made from man-made fibres (such as polyamide) are preferable to those made from natural fibres (such as cotton) for their moisture wicking properties, ensuring that you stay cool and dry on safari.
Number of men's safari trousers and shorts to pack for your safari:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2 (1+1); Up to 8-day safari: x 3 (2+1); Up to 12-day safari: x 4 (2+2)
We have shown the number of men's safari trouser zip-offs/convertibles as the first number - "x 3"- and the men's safari trousers plus men's safari shorts combination in brackets - e.g. (2+1). Always make sure that you pack the total number whether you opt for safari zip-offs, safari trousers, or safari shorts, but always have a combination of safari shorts and trousers. As an example, for an 8-day safari, you could take one pair of zip-offs, one pair of trousers, and one pair of shorts - or 3 pairs of zip-offs, or two pairs of shorts and one pair of trousers - or vice versa.
Walking in the bush while on safari is the quintessential experience. We recommend it to all who go to Africa.
Whether you go for a short nature walk with your guide or a multi-day walking safari, please ensure that you pack safari-coloured safari socks which offer a double layer for blister protection. Bad blisters ruin good walks.
Pack ankle gaiters if you prefer further protection for your ankles and socks.
Number of blister-proof socks to pack for your safari:
Up to 4-day safari: x 2; Up to 8-day safari: x 3; Up to 12-day safari: x 4.
Following on from our advice for safari fleeces and safari jackets, you need to pack garments and accessories for your safari which keep you warm. Therefore, woollen men's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves should be considered a packing essential over the African winter - and for some mornings through summer in Africa too. For more details on when and why Africa gets cold, please view the men's safari jacket and fleeces page.
At the very least we recommend packing a safari beanie on any safari as they are so small and light to carry in your luggage, yet have a big effect on how warm you are should you get cold. Keep your safari beanie in the bag you take on game drives - you may well get some envious stares from others who have not had the foresight to pack a safari beanie.
Further to the point above, for the African summer pack a men's safari beanie just in case. For the most part your men's wide-brimmed safari hat should keep you warm enough, but why take the risk? Please do take note too of the altitude of the area in which you are going on safari. The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, as an example, is over 2000 metres above sea level and most camps are on the rim of the crater and so may have cold temperatures (morning and evenings in particular) and precipitation throughout the year and we would recommend taking warmer safari accessories just in case.
Pack safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves in safari colours.
Number of men's safari scarves, safari beanies, and safari gloves to pack for your safari:
1 x men's safari scarf; 1 x men's safari beanie; 1 x men's safari gloves - although you should be fine tucking your hands into your men's safari jacket or fleece to keep them warm.